Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

04.04.2024 - 17:44:12
Game Guides , Path of Exile

Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist Build Guide - Path of Exile 3.24

Do you want a fast mapper in PoE that is capable of deleting a whole screen of enemies with just one attack? Are you planning on defeating the uber bosses in the game, including the Shaper, Elder, Sirus, and The Maven? If so, the Ethereal Knives (EK) Ignite Elementalist build is a definite frontrunner.

There are a lot of changes GGG has implemented in the 3.24 Necropolis League. Fortunately, this build has survived all of that! If anything, it got a lot better thanks to the reintroduction of a familiar mechanic.

So, if you are interested in creating this character, then forge ahead. This is our comprehensive build guide for the Ethereal Knives (EK) Ignite Elementalist in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League!

EK Ignite Elementalist

Why EK Ignite?

EK Ignite Elementalist has been one of the most popular builds in Path of Exile for so many leagues now. It can clear enemies quite fast thanks to the damaging ailment, Ignite. It is also a good league starter because you can take advantage of Ignite very early on with just a minimal investment.

For the uninitiated, Ignite is a damaging fire elemental ailment in Path of Exile that causes targets to take burning damage over time. The damage caused by Ignites scales by adding these modifiers on your gear and passive tree:

  • Increased Burning Damage

  • Increased Elemental Damage

  • Increased Fire Damage

  • Increased Damage

  • + to Fire Damage Overtime Multiplier

  • + to Damage Over Time Multiplier

This build works by taking advantage of multiple levels of conversion; starting with Physical Damage -> Cold Damage -> Fire Damage. Some pieces of gear also provide extra chaos damage like Gloomfang and the self-crafted quiver.

What makes Gloomfang great for this build is that it converts non-chaos damage to extra chaos damage at every step of the conversion process. In short, you will dispense incredible amounts of pain when you have the said unique amulet equipped!

The Ethereal Knives Elementalist uses two herald skills as well. Herald of Purity provides 12% more physical damage, while Herald of Ash grants more burning damage, spell damage, and physical damage as extra fire damage. Both of these herald skills grant huge damage bonuses, effectively improving the build’s clear speed and boss-killing potential.

Why Elementalist?

EK Ignite Elementalist Ascendancy Passives

While you can use Ethereal Knives with Trickster or Raider, you’ll go for Elementalist for this build. The reason is that the Elementalist has access to several notable passives that will make EK Ignite possible.

Once you finish the first labyrinth, you should get Shaper of Flames. This ascendancy passive empowers your attacks so that all damage with hits can ignite enemies. With Shaper of Flames, you don’t need to invest in items that cause your enemies to ignite. Furthermore, you deal 25% more damage with Ignites you inflict with hits since your highest damage type is fire. 

The next ascendancy passive you should get is Shaper of Storms. All damage you inflict can shock enemies, causing them to take at least 15% more damage. Because Ignite deals fire damage over time, weakening your foes with Shock helps ramp up your damage significantly.

For the third ascendancy passive, you will get Mastermind of Discord. When you start equipping all of the necessary pieces of gear, your pair of gloves will have the Eater of Worlds implicit mod where you inflict fire exposure on hit. Naturally, this lowers the fire resistance of the affected target by an x% amount depending on the tier of Eldritch Ichor you use on the gloves. However, with Mastermind of Discord, the exposure you inflict applies an extra -25% to the enemy’s fire resistance, causing them to receive more damage from Ignite!

To cap off the ascendancy passives, you will take Heart of Destruction after completing the fourth labyrinth. This grants you Convergence when you hit a unique enemy, no more than once every eight seconds. Convergence is a buff that gives you 30% more elemental damage.

After all of the things said above, do you now understand why Elementalist is the perfect ascendancy class for EK Ignite? Shaper of Flames and Shaper of Storms inflict Ignite and Shock, respectively, every time you hit enemies with Ethereal Knives. Then, Mastermind of Discord reduces the enemy’s fire resistance so that you deal even more damage. Do you need more power? Heart of Destruction grants you Convergence, which gives you a boost to elemental damage. This enables you to demolish rare and unique enemies, essence monsters, and bosses without a hitch.

Ethereal Knives

Why It’s a Good League Starter

The EK Ignite Elementalist is a good league starter because the items that you need to get this off the ground are very cheap. For instance, the Obliteration wand gives you 30-40% physical damage as extra chaos damage. On top of that, enemies you kill have a 20% chance to explode, dealing a quarter of their max HP as chaos damage. This helps immensely with map clear. And, the best part is that you can get this weapon for less than 20 Chaos Orbs on average.


Another mandatory piece of gear is the Gloomfang. It causes your chained EK projectiles to deal up to 35% of non-chaos damage as extra chaos damage. This scales well with the endgame bow, which will be discussed later in the guide. Gloomfang is such an inexpensive amulet, so you will have no problems getting this at the start of a new league.

In the endgame, purchase a bunch of Gloomfangs and corrupt them with a Vaal Orb for a chance to obtain the corrupted implicit modifier: “You can apply an additional curse.” This is vital to the success of the build mainly because it allows you to cast both Flammability and Elemental Weakness at the same time.


Then, you will equip a shield for better survivability. Ideally, you want to get an evasion-based shield so that you can roll a chance to suppress spell damage. Another reason why you should equip a shield for the budget setup is so that you can use Shield Charge. This is mainly utilized so that you can move around maps quickly, as well as inflict Ignites on every enemy you come across.

Why Wave of Conviction?

The EK Ignite build will not work without Shaper of Flames and the right pieces of gear. This is why you’ll see people using Wave of Conviction through the acts until they get the right equipment.

You want to get at least a five-linked body armor to fit the following gems (sorted in order of importance):

  • Wave of Conviction

  • Added Fire Damage

  • Burning Damage

  • Swift Affliction

  • Cruelty Support

  • Added Lightning Damage

Wave of Conviction is a spell gem that hits enemies with an expanding wave of energy. The wave not only damages them but inflicts exposure matching the highest damage as well. In this case, since you’re dealing high amounts of fire damage, the wave of energy inflicts fire exposure to those that are hit.

You’ve probably noticed that there’s an Added Lightning Damage gem included in the setup as well. That is just to provide an extra boost since Wave of Conviction deals both fire and lightning damage. It is not mandatory but it certainly helps, especially if you have a six-linked body armor.

Build Variants

There are only two versions that are worth your time when it comes to the EK Ignite Elementalist: Budget and Endgame. 

  1. Budget Variant

The budget version of the EK Ignite Elementalist heavily relies on the Obliteration wand, which you can equip starting at level 59. By this point, you already have Shaper of Flames and Shaper of Storms, so you’re now ready to get things started.

We suggest that you invest in a good shield. If you’re going to craft one, get a Supreme Spiked Shield as your crafting base since it has a “chance to suppress spell damage” as an implicit mod. Besides that, you can use whatever essences you want until you get an explicit chance to suppress spell damage modifier. 

You can opt to use Screaming Essence of Envy (Chaos Resistance) or Screaming Essence of Anger/Hatred/Wrath (Fire/Cold/Lighting Resistance) if your resistances are not sorted out yet. Alternatively, you can even use Screaming Essence of Rage (STR) or Screaming Essence of Sorrow (DEX) if you still need these attributes to equip certain pieces of gear.

Don’t forget to leave a prefix open so that you can put “Gain 8% of Fire Damage as Extra Chaos Damage” from the Crafting Bench.

Self-crafted Shield

For your body armor, you can purchase a Skin of the Loyal unique simple robe that has three red and three green sockets. You might be wondering why you should get the said socket colors instead of three green, two red, and one blue. 

The six-linked Skin of the Loyal is where you will put your EK setup. The blue socket, as some players would go for, is usually reserved for the Unbound Ailments Support gem. This increases the duration and damage of ignite on enemies. Moreover, it increases the effect of non-damaging ailments (like Shock) on foes by up to 54%, causing them to receive even more damage. While Unbound Ailments does have a place in an EK gem setup, it is not as good as other options. Hence, you go for three red and three green sockets.

Skin of the Loyal

Once you have farmed enough PoE currency, you can purchase the Skin of the Lords to replace the Skin of the Loyal unique armor. Make sure that you have the same colored sockets. It’s important to note that you can only socket corrupted gems into the Skin of the Lords. This is not a huge deal because you will corrupt your gems with a Vaal Orb to level them up to 21 anyway for better results.

The Skin of the Lords has one built-in keystone passive. Make sure that the one that you purchase does not brick your build. Some good keystones include Mind Over Matter, Elemental Overload, Eldritch Battery, Wicked Ward, and Pain Attunement. 

Skin of the Lords

For the belt, grab an ilvl 82+ Crystal Belt and spam it with Shrieking/Deafening Essence of Sorrow (DEX) until you get useful modifiers, such as life, mana, energy shield, and STR. If you still have an open suffix, bench-craft the mod: “Regenerate 150 Energy Shield per Second While a Rare or Unique Enemy is Nearby.”

If you are going to use the Stormshroud unique jewel to make you immune to elemental ailments, you can use the Deafening Essence of Torment (Shock Avoidance) instead of Essence of Sorrow.

You can craft a good pair of boots as well. I suggest that you use Deafening Essences of Loathing on an evasion/energy shield base like the Murder Boots. This allows you to get up to a 35% chance to avoid elemental ailments in addition to a chance to suppress spell damage. You can refer to our ultimate crafting guide so that you will get the full instructions on how to craft the Onslaught Boots.

The only difference here is the implicit modifiers. Spam the boots with Eldritch Ichors until you get “Ignites You Inflict Deal Damage % Faster” and Eldritch Embers for “Drops Scorched Ground While Moving, Lasting 4 Seconds.”

Self-crafted Onslaught Boots

  1. Endgame Variant

Unlike the budget version of the EK Ignite Elementalist where you can use the Obliteration wand and a self-crafted shield, the Endgame variant requires a self-crafted bow and quiver.

You see, the endgame version of EK Ignite is basically an aura stacker. You will place all of the necessary aura gems in the bow, as well as a level 4 Enlighten Support gem so that you can activate them without running into mana problems. As for the base, you want to use a Reflex Bow because it only requires 124 dex to equip. Also, it has a 6% increased movement speed implicit mod, enabling you to move a bit faster.

To craft the endgame bow:

  1. Increase the quality of the bow by using Perfect Fossils. Aim for that 30% quality

  2. Next, get a ton of Deafening Essence of Misery for that guaranteed, “% Increased Cast Speed” mod. Spam the bow with this particular essence until you get “(24-26)% to Damage Over Time Multiplier”

  3. When you have the above mods, go to your Crafting Bench and put “Suffixes Cannot Be Changed” and then use an Orb of Scouring to remove all of the prefixes. If you don’t have an open prefix, use an Orb of Annulment. If the cast speed or DoT mods get removed, go back to the previous step

  4. Interact with your Crafting Bench again and put “Cannot Roll Attack Modifiers” and then use an Exalted Orb. Doing this will ensure that you acquire the “+1 to Level of Socketed Gems” prefix

  5. Head to your Crafting Bench one last time and put the following mods in order:

    1. Can Have Up to 3 Crafted Modifiers

    2. +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems

    3. Gain 15% of Fire Damage as Extra Chaos Damage

Crafted Bow

For the quiver, you want either a Feathered Arrow Quiver or Vile Arrow Quiver as your crafting base. The former increases projectile speed by up to 30%. The latter gives you the implicit mod, “15% of physical damage as extra chaos damage.” Most people opt for the Vile Arrow Quiver as it gives a slight DPS increase. However, both of these choices are pretty good. It’s up to you whether you want more quality of life or more DPS.

Anyway, the quiver must contain mods that give you 15% of physical damage as extra fire/cold damage. To achieve this, you must merge a Shaper- or Redeemer-influenced quiver and a Warlord-influenced quiver with an Awakener’s Orb. The orb increases in price as the league goes on. That’s why you need to secure one as soon as you can. It should go without saying that the influenced quivers must have the appropriate mods before you use Awakener’s Orb.

Here is a short guide on how to craft the quiver:

  1. Get two ilvl 85+ influenced quivers. One of them should be a Warlord-influenced quiver and the other one can be anything so long as it has a Shaper or Redeemer influence. In addition, at least one of those quivers must be a Vile Arrow Quiver for the implicit mod, “Gain (10-15)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage”

  2. On the Warlord-influenced quiver, use an Orb of Scouring and Orb of Transmutation to turn it into a magic (blue) item. Spam the quiver with Orb of Alteration until you get Tier 1 “Gain % of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage.” Once you get the mod, use a Regal Orb to turn it into a rare (yellow) item

  3. On the other influenced quiver, follow the same process mentioned above; only this time, you’re aiming for a Tier 1 “Gain % of Physical Damage as Extra Cold Damage.” Use a Regal Orb after obtaining the mod

  4. The next step is to use an Awakener’s Orb to merge these influenced quivers. To use it, make sure that you click the Shaper or Redeemer-influenced quiver first before clicking the Vile Arrow Quiver. This is so that the latter will be the final quiver for that juicy implicit modifier

  5. Using the Awakener’s Orb guarantees that you get those influenced modifiers you’ve rolled on each individual quiver. However, it does not necessarily populate the final quiver with mods. So, if you still have open slots, use an Exalted Orb or the Crafting Bench to fill them up

Crafted Quiver 

Another self-crafted piece of gear is the gloves. Get a base that has evasion and energy shield on it (preferably Murder Mitts). Use any essences that you want that guarantees a suffix, preferably Deafening Essence of Zeal (Attack Speed), Deafening Essence of Envy (Chaos Resistance), or Deafening Essence of Sorrow (DEX). Spam the gloves with your chosen Essence until you get spell suppression and another useful suffix.


Then, you want to add the “25% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage” mod from your Crafting Bench. This is needed because Ethereal Knives is a physical spell skill gem. You want to convert all of your physical damage to cold damage and then convert it again to fire damage with the Cold to Fire Support gem.

Crafted Gloves

The conversion does not end there, though. You will also need a Watcher’s Eye that converts 35% of physical damage to cold damage while affected by Hatred. The final 40% cold conversion can be acquired from cold mastery.

Alternatively, you can craft the 60% cold damage conversion gloves by following the instructions outlined in our crafting guide.

In terms of the boots, you want to craft on an ilvl 85+ Murder Boots with a veiled mod on it. Here are the crafting steps:

  1. Increase the quality of the boots by using either Armourer’s Scrap (20%) or Perfect Fossils (28-30%)

  2. Spam the boots with the Deafening Essence of Loathing to get (31-35)% Chance to Avoid Elemental Ailments, which is quite helpful in achieving full ailment immunity. Do this until you get Tier 1 spell suppression and another useful suffix

  3. When you have an open prefix, go to your Crafting Bench and put “Suffixes Cannot Be Changed.” If you don’t have an open prefix, use a Lesser Eldritch Ember an Eldritch Orb of Annulment to safely remove one

  4. After that, use a Veiled Orb. Before unveiling, go to Jun and put “+ to Maximum Life.” Any tier will do. You just have to do this to get a higher chance of obtaining the mod that you actually want

  5. Go to Jun and unveil, you can choose between “(25-30)% Increased Movement Speed, (13-16)% Chance to Gain Onslaught for 4 Seconds on Kill” OR “(25-30)% Increased Movement Speed, (10-12)% Increased Movement Speed If You Haven’t Been Hit Recently” whichever works for you

  6. After obtaining the mod, head to your Crafting Bench once more and put “+70 to Maximum Life.” You can use an Exalted Orb if you still have an open prefix

  7. For Eldritch Currencies, you can use Grand Eldritch Ichors to get “Gain % Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage” or “Ignites You Inflict Deal Damage % Faster.” Then, use Grand Eldritch Embers for that “% Increased Action Speed” or “Drops Scorched Ground While Moving, Lasting 4 Seconds”

Self-Crafted Boots (with Veiled Modifier)

For the ring, you want a Polaric Devastation on the left slot so that you can cover enemies in ash for five seconds after igniting them. Covering your foes in ash increases the fire damage they take by 20%.

Polaric Devastation

A viable alternative to Polaric Devastation is Replica Emberwake. This ring has some pretty good mods that can benefit EK Ignite, most notably “Ignites you inflict deal damage 35-45% faster.” 

Replica Emberwake

For the other ring slot, you want a rare ring that has the mod, “Curse enemies with Flammability on Hit.” This curse reduces the affected target’s fire resistance by 17%. This, along with the effects of Polaric Devastation and the fire exposure on your gloves, makes you deal incredible amounts of fire damage over time with ignite.

To craft the ring, get an item level 85 Warlord-influenced ring, preferably a Two-stone Ring (Elemental Resistance), Vermillion Ring (HP), or Amethyst Ring (Chaos Resistance) as a base. Next, go to the Horticrafting Station and use Harvest Reforge Caster. Although this doesn’t guarantee that you get the mod on the first try, you will have a higher chance of obtaining it than trying other means.

With the mana changes implemented by GGG in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League, it is now more important than ever to bench-craft the prefix: “Non-channeling Skills Have -7 to Total Mana Cost.” Additionally, use Fertile Catalysts to improve the life and mana modifiers on the ring for good measure.

Self-crafted Ring (with Flammability on Hit)

Important Mods

The endgame version of the build requires certain mods for it to work. Here are the important mods that every rare (yellow) piece of gear should have:



Main Weapon

-+1 to level of socketed gems

-% to damage over time multiplier

-Increased cast speed

-Can have up to 3 crafted modifiers (bench craft)

-+2 to level of socketed support gems (bench craft)

-Gain 16% of fire damage as extra chaos damage (bench craft)


-Gain 15% of physical damage as extra fire damage (Warlord-influenced quiver)

-Gain 15% of physical damage as extra cold damage (Redeemer/Shaper-influenced quiver)

-Increased maximum life

-Elemental/chaos resistances

-Increased projectile speed

Body Armor

Skin of the Lords (keystone passives):

-Eldritch Battery

-Mind Over Matter

-Wicked Ward

-Elemental Overload

-Pain Attunement


-Chance to suppress spell damage (must be evasion or evasion/energy shield base)

-Elemental/Chaos Resistances

-Increased maximum life

-Increased maximum energy shield (Evasion/ES base)

-Attributes (preferably dex or str)

-Aura reservation efficiency for Determination, Grace, Hatred, Discipline, Herald of Ash, or Herald of Purity (lab enchant)

-Mana reservation efficiency of skills (Use Deafening Essence of Loathing)

-Mana reservation efficiency of skills (Eater of Worlds implicit mod)

-Increased Flammability curse effect (Searing Exarch implicit mod)


-25% of physical damage converted to cold damage (bench-craft)

-Chance to suppress spell damage

-Increased maximum life

-Increased maximum energy shield

-Elemental/Chaos resistances

-Attributes (preferably dex or str)


-Ignites you inflict deal damage % faster (Eater of Worlds implicit mod)

-Increased maximum life

-Increased maximum energy shield

-Elemental/Chaos resistances

-Increased movement speed

-Chance to avoid elemental ailments (spam Essence of Loathing)

-Increased movement speed + Chance to gain Onslaught on kill (veiled modifier)

-Attributes (preferably STR or DEX)


-Curse enemies with Flammability on hit

-Increased maximum life

-Increased maximum energy shield

-Elemental/Chaos resistances

-Attributes (preferably dex or str)

-15-17% increased damage (bench-craft)


Crystal Belt:

-50-60% chance to avoid being shocked

-Increased maximum life

-Elemental/Chaos resistances


-40-50% chance to avoid being shocked (via Essence of Torment)

Shield (for Budget Version)

-Chance to suppress spell damage (must be evasion base, preferably Supreme Spiked Shield)

-Increased maximum life

-Elemental/Chaos resistances

-Attributes (preferably STRor DEX)



-Charisma (Opalescent Oil, 2x Golden Oils)

-Whispers of Doom (3x Golden Oils), use if you do not have “You can apply an additional curse” corrupted implicit


-Quicksilver Flask

-Granite Flask

-Jade Flask

Unique Flasks:

-Atziri’s Promise (more damage)

-Taste of Hate (more damage and survivability)


Watcher’s Eye

-35% of Physical Damage Converted to Cold Damage While Affected by Hatred

-+ to Armour While Affected by Determination

-Regenerate % Energy Shield per Second While Affected by Discipline

-Gain Energy Shield per Enemy Hit While Affected by Discipline

-Chance to Suppress Spell Damage While Affected by Grace


Brutal Restraint

-25% Chance to Gain Alchemist’s Genius When You Use a Flask

-10% Increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments

-10% Increased Duration of Elemental Ailments on Enemies

Large Cluster Jewel (Fire Damage)


-Prismatic Heart

-Doryani’s Lesson

-Disorienting Display

Medium Cluster Jewel (Burning Damage)

-Fan the Flames

-Vile Reinvigoration

-Brush with Death

-Wasting Affliction

Medium Cluster Jewel (Herald)

-Lasting Impression

-Purposeful Harbinger

Base Jewel



-% Global Physical Damage

-+% to Fire Damage Over Time Multiplier

-% Increased Fire Damage

-% Increased Maximum Life

-Damaging Ailments Deal Damage % Faster

Small Cluster Jewel (Mana Reservation)


-Spiteful Presence

-Sublime Form

-25/35% Increased Effect

-Maximum Life

-Chaos Resistance 

Impossible Escape (Precise Technique)

-Only get for endgame build

Gem Setup

The gems that you need to equip vary slightly depending on whether you are putting up the budget or endgame version of the build.

Here’s a rundown of the gems that you need to include in the budget version:

  • Body Armor

    • Ethereal Knives/Ethereal Knives of Massacre

    • Empower Support

    • Swift Affliction

    • Burning Damage

    • Unbound Ailments (Blue), Deadly Ailments (Green)

    • Cold to Fire Support

  • Helmet

    • Combustion/Flammability (if not using crafted ring)

    • Hydrosphere

    • Flame Surge

    • Arcanist Brand

  • Gloves

    • Grace

    • Vaal Discipline

    • Elemental Weakness

    • Enlighten Support

  • Boots

    • Herald of Ash

    • Herald of Purity

    • Molten Shell (lvl 10)

    • Cast When Damage Taken Support (lvl 1)

  • Shield

    • Shield Charge

    • Faster Attacks Support

    • Frostblink

  • Weapon (Obliteration)

    • Malevolence

    • Divine Blessing Support

    • Vaal Haste

Your Ethereal Knives gem setup will be placed on the body armor. With the addition of the Transfigured Gem, Ethereal Knives of the Massacre, in the previous league, you have a version that fires projectiles in a circle. This transfigured version is great for map clear, but it feels clunky to use on bosses. Still, choose whichever EK gem you prefer.

Since you’re going to buy a Skin of the Loyal, make sure that you have the appropriate gem colors for this setup to work. The version that has three green sockets and red sockets is pretty cheap. However, if you purchased a Skin of the Loyal with one blue socket, that would also work because you can slot in Unbound Ailments instead of Deadly Ailments. This is just to say that you have options.

Once you have enough PoE currency, buy the awakened versions of the support gems for Ethereal Knives. Start with Awakened Swift Affliction, then Awakened Unbound/Deadly Ailments whichever socket colors your Skin of the Loyal has.

The beauty of the budget version of EK Ignite Elementalist is that you have access to Shield Charge. Use this skill to traverse the map as quickly as possible. Additionally, Frostblink has replaced Flame Dash in the 3.24 Necropolis League version of this build primarily because of its effectiveness of added damage. 

Whenever enemies are on the chilled ground that Frostblink creates, you deal more damage to them. Use this particular movement skill whenever there are a bunch of monsters nearby and you want to deal with them in a jiffy.

Having the Enlighten Support gem at level 4 is a must if you want to activate all of the auras. If you struggle to activate all of your auras and heralds, you can craft a helmet using Essence of Loathing for that mana reservation efficiency mod. On top of that, use Eldritch Ichors to get the same modifier

Self-crafted Helmet (with Mana Reservation Efficiency Mods)

Anyway, here are the gems that you will be using once you transition to the endgame setup:

  • Body Armor

    • Ethereal Knives

    • Awakened Swift Affliction

    • Awakened Unbound Ailments/Awakened Deadly Ailments

    • Cold to Fire Support

    • Awakened Burning Damage

    • Empower (Lvl 4)

  • Helmet

    • Vaal Haste

    • Divine Blessing

    • Increased Duration

    • Malevolence

  • Gloves

    • Arcanist Brand

    • Hydrosphere

    • Flame Surge

    • Combustion

  • Boots

    • Herald of Purity

    • Molten Shell

    • Frostblink

    • Elemental Weakness

  • Weapon (Self-crafted Bow)

    • Grace

    • Determination

    • Herald of Ash

    • Vaal Discipline

    • Hatred

    • Enlighten (Lvl 4)

The support gems for EK in the endgame setup are almost the same as the budget variant, except they’re all awakened versions. Just swap Unbound Ailments or Deadly Ailments whichever socket colors you have on the body armor.

The main difference between the budget and endgame versions is the weapon since you’re transitioning from an Obliteration wand and shield combo to a six-linked bow. You want to craft a bow that has +1 to level of socketed gems, as well as a +2 to level of socketed support gems. These mods would increase the level of your Enlighten gem to seven, assuming that you put an Enlighten level 4 in. 

That’s not all! On your passive tree, you must have Sovereignty and the Mana Mastery that gives you a 12% increased mana reservation efficiency of skills. Charisma can be anointed on the amulet, which gives you additional mana reservation efficiency. 

Another thing you can do if you still struggle activating your auras is to buy some Small Cluster Jewels (Mana Reservation Efficiency). Get a three-node cluster if you can. All of these combined with the gems on the bow grant you the power to activate all of the auras and heralds that this build needs to shine.

The Vaal version of Discipline is nice to have, especially if you’re in a tough situation. When activated, it temporarily casts an aura that prevents your energy shield recharge from being delayed by damage. In other words, this is your panic button if you’re in a bind. 

You can get a Vaal Discipline by getting the normal version of the Discipline and then using a Vaal Orb. Take note that turning the normal gem into its Vaal version is all about luck. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can just purchase one from other people.

The Divine Blessing Support turns auras into blessing skills, which you can activate to gain some juicy bonuses. That said, the boots should only have three links so that you can put Malevolence along with Divine Blessing and Increased Duration.

By doing so, Malevolence turns into a temporary buff that you can activate at any time. Use it whenever you are fighting tough monsters or pinnacle bosses in PoE.

Haste is also added to the boots, except that it is not part of the main links. This is because you are only utilizing the “Vaal” portion of the skill, which gives you a temporary increase in attack speed, cast speed, and movement speed.

So, what if you come across a tough opponent? What should you do? Apply the Arcanist Brand on them to activate Flame Surge and Hydrosphere. Make it a point to shoot at the Hydrosphere so that your projectiles will chain, which allows you to take advantage of Gloomfang’s extra damage bonus.

Speaking of Gloomfang, you must corrupt the said amulet with a Vaal Orb for a chance to acquire the additional curse implicit modifier. When you have obtained the mod successfully, you can now use Elemental Weakness to further reduce the elemental resistances of your enemies. This is a huge damage boost, especially when you factor in the fire exposure you inflict, as well as the Flammability curse from your ring.

Since you are starved for gem slots already, and the fact that you can no longer bind instant actions on the left click in Patch 3.24, you must activate Molten Shell manually from now on.

Which Transfigured Gem is the Best?

In the previous league, Grinding Gear Games introduced two Transfigured Gems for Ethereal Knives: Ethereal Knives of Lingering Blades and Ethereal Knives of the Massacre. Both of these provide vastly different functionalities compared to the base skill gem.

Ethereal Knives of Lingering Blades allow you to fire 10 projectiles per cast. However, the main difference here is that those blades actually linger on the ground for six seconds, which means that they effectively deal damage until their duration expires. This functions similarly to the old version of the Ethereal Knives gem. If you were disappointed that the “lingering” effect was taken out of the base version, it is actually now placed in this Transfigured Gem, so there’s nothing to worry about! 

What’s more, you can put up to 40 lingering blades on the ground, so you can just employ a cast-and-go playstyle and see the monsters burn while you move. Another important distinction between this particular Transfigured Gem over the base version is that this has a “Duration” tag. This means that if you have “+2 to Level of Socketed Duration Gems” as a corrupted implicit mod on your body armor, you can take advantage of that bonus when using Ethereal Knives of Lingering Blades.

On the other hand, Ethereal Knives of the Massacre is vastly different from its Transfigured Gem counterpart in that you fire 17 projectiles that go out in a circle. This is similar to the Labyrinth Helmet Enchant in past leagues, except that you throw considerably more projectiles than the base version of the skill gem.

To answer the question of which one you should choose between the two, it really depends on your style of play. If you want to be able to move without worrying about the monsters that you leave behind, the Ethereal Knives of Lingering Blades is more suited for that.

However, if you want a reliable way of dealing with enemies when you’re surrounded, perhaps you can give Ethereal Knives of the Massacre a go.


It kind of sucks that GGG has completely removed the secondary ascendancy classes from the game in Path of Exile 3.24 Necropolis League. They might return at some point, but their absence is felt, particularly if you have used Charms to improve your build.

If there’s any consolation, the company did bring back Tattoos to compensate for the removal of the Wildwood Ascendancies. That being said, here are the Tattoos that we recommend for the Ethereal Knives Ignite Elementalist:

  • Tattoo of the Ngamahu Warrior

    • 5% Increased Fire Damage

  • Tattoo of the Kitava Warrior

    • 5% increased Physical Damage

  • Tattoo of the Arohongui Shaman

    • 5% increased Effect of Herald Buffs on You

  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Warrior

    • 3% Increased Maximum Energy Shield

  • Tattoo of the Hinekora Storyteller

    • +3% to Chaos Resistance


Why Should You Use the Wave of Conviction at the Beginning?

The main reason why you should use Wave of Conviction early on instead of Ethereal Knives is that EK, by itself, does not deal a ton of damage. You’ll need to be an Elementalist, have the right gear and gems, and get the appropriate ascendancy passives for everything to work.

On top of that, the passives for WoC and EK are almost exactly the same. When you’re ready to transition from Wave of Conviction to Ethereal Knives, all you have to do is change some notable passives and you’re good to go!

Is it Necessary to Convert All of Your Physical Damage to Cold?

Yes. The EK Ignite Elementalist requires a ton of conversion (Phys -> Cold -> Fire -> Chaos). If you only convert 65% of your physical damage to cold, you’re missing out on huge amounts of damage.

Furthermore, if you convert physical damage directly to fire damage, you’re also going to miss out on a ton of damage. That’s because Cold to Fire Support is a gem that doesn't just convert your cold damage to fire; it gives you up to 29% of cold damage as extra fire damage. When you think about it, this build is insane because of the amount of extra damage you get from all of the conversions being utilized here.

What are the Best Pantheons for this Build?

The major gods that you can use for EK Ignite are the Soul of Lunaris or the Soul of Arakaali. Soul of Lunaris is the preferred one because it gives you the following effects:

  • 1% additional physical damage reduction for each nearby enemy, up to 8%

  • 1% increased movement speed for each nearby enemy, up to 8%

  • 10% chance to avoid projectiles

  • 6% reduced elemental damage taken if you have been hit recently

  • Avoid projectiles that have chained

Soul of Lunaris is a viable alternative as well. That’s because EK Ignite is primarily intended for mapping. You want to zoom in and out of maps as quickly as you can. The increased movement speed that this pantheon power provides certainly helps. If you run heavily juiced maps, the additional physical damage reduction can improve your survivability.

How about the Soul of Arakaali? Well, you gain the following benefits:

  • 10% reduced damage taken from damage over time

  • 20% increased recovery rate of life and energy shield if you’ve stopped taking damage over time recently

  • Debuffs on you expire 20% faster

  • 40% chaos resistance against damage over time

Soul of Arakaali is mainly used for defensive purposes, particularly if you go into maps filled with monsters that deal damage over time. Besides that, this is the one that you should choose if you don’t have enough chaos resistance.

For minor gods, you have a few options, such as:

  • Soul of Gruthkul

    • 1% additional physical damage reduction for each hit you’ve taken recently, up to a maximum of 5%

    • Enemies that have hit you with an attack recently have 8% reduced attack speed

  • Soul of Abberath

    • 60% less duration of ignite on you

    • Unaffected by burning ground

    • 10% increased movement speed while on burning ground

  • Soul of Garukhan

    • 60% reduced effect of shock on you

    • Cannot be blinded

    • You cannot be maimed

Soul of Gruthkul helps mitigate even more damage. This is helpful early on when you’re still putting all of the right pieces together.

Soul of Abberath is good if you are farming maps influenced by the Searing Exarch. You no longer have to worry about burning ground since you will not be damaged when you walk over it.

Soul of Garukhan may not be as popular as the previous minor gods, but it is still a good option nonetheless. This reduces the effect of shock on you. Additionally, immunity to blind and maim is a huge plus.


EK Ignite Elementalist (Budget)

EK Ignite Elementalist (Endgame)

Passive Tree

Passive Tree for the EK Ignite Elementalist

Final Thoughts

The EK Ignite Elementalist is an amazing build that scales really well the more currency you invest into it. You can start with the budget version for less than five Divine Orbs. Then, once you’ve farmed enough PoE currency, you can start purchasing all of the endgame gear to elevate things to the next level!

What makes this build unique is its use of multiple damage conversion mechanics. Each step of the conversion process provides extra damage thanks to Gloomfang. Add all of them up and you will see why this build is a powerhouse.

EK Ignite is also very fun and easy to play. Just shoot knives at your enemies and you will see them blow up into smithereens thanks to Ignite. Seriously, you just fire projectiles and move around the map. While this build is mainly for mapping, you can definitely tackle the game’s hardest bosses with enough investment.

With the introduction of Transfigured Gems, you have a couple of options if you want to mix it up from time to time. Ethereal Knives of Lingering Blades punctuate that hit-and-run playstyle for fast mapping. On the other hand, Ethereal Knives of Massacre is also great, especially for those who want to get up close and personal with the enemy. The considerable increase in projectiles over the base version aids in burning enemies to a crisp!

Although the build makes use of the Elementalist, which is a class not known for its defenses, the EK Ignite Elementalist has some defensive layers that make it incredibly tanky. This is true even for the budget version! You have high spell suppression, evasion rating, and armor to mitigate as much damage as possible. You have a considerable amount of energy shield as well. Couple that with Mind Over Matter and your survivability goes through the roof!

If you’re looking for a good league starter in Path of Exile that scales really well into the endgame, the EK Ignite Elementalist is certainly one of the best builds out there, especially in the 3.24 Necropolis League!

With all of that said, good luck on your adventures in Wraeclast, Exile!


+Utilizes Ignites to obliterate foes

+Can be used as a league starter

+Scales really well the more currency you invest into the build

+Easy playstyle despite the many mechanics at play

+Deceptively tanky due to the build’s many defensive layers

+Still great in Patch 3.24


-Endgame gear requires a heavy investment

-Lots of crafting

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